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Boeing to Cut 747-8 Production to One a Month

Boeing is planning to lower their 747-8 jumbo aircraft production to only one per month due to the decrease in demand for the aircraft. Planned to begin early 2016, the reduction follows the current decrease in production of the 747 family from and output of 1.5 aircraft to 1.3 aircraft in September. The overall demand shift has been due to more demand for twin-engine aircraft, lowering orders for the four-engine 747 by airlines and air freight companies.

Since it’s unveiling in 2011, Boeing has had 32 orders for the 747-8 and began with a two per month production rate. Soon the production rate was reduced to 1.75 per month to 1.5 per month. Although there is a decrease in production, the plan will allow the 747 program to be extended and stay on track for updating the Air Force One presidential fleet in which the United States Air Force One team plans to purchase additional 747s to replace the currently used 747-200 by 2021.

The Boeing 747-8 is a wide body jet airliner made by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. As a descendant of the 747, the 747-8 is the third generation and has an increased fuselage, redesigned wings, and increased efficiency. It is the largest commercial aircraft to be built in the United States and is the longest passenger aircraft in the world.  There are 2 main variants of the 747-8, the 747-8 Intercontinental and the 747-8 Freighter. These variants are specifically designed for passengers and cargo, respectively.  Primary users of the aircraft include Lufthansa, Cathay Pacific Cargo, Cargolux Airlines, and Atlas Air. With 90 units delivered as of May 2015 and a total of 122 on order (71 freighter versions and 51 passenger versions), the 747-8 starts at a unit price of $356.9 million.

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